Happy Factory —
Miracles happen when people willingly serve others. When Charles and Donna Cooley became aware that many children have never had a toy, they formulated their motto, “We may not be able to make a toy for every child in the world that needs one–but we’re going to try!”
The seeds of their service were planted in a small workshop at their home near Cedar City, Utah in 1995. They made a couple hundred toys that were humbly offered to Primary Children’s Medical Center. The toys were received with such enthusiasm and gratitude that the Cooleys made more and donated them locally to the Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center, Cedar City Care and Share, the Presbyterian Church, and within the state of Utah to Shriner’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House and worldwide.
They named their workshop “The Happy Factory” because of the happiness it brings to them and to the children who receive the wooden toys. In the process, they have learned that toys are not simply playthings, but tools that help unlock a child’s ability to think and to cope with the world around them. What started as a hobby has turned into a full time labor of love.
Since their humble beginnings, The Happy Factory has welcomed volunteers of every age–including juvenile offenders in three state correctional facilities. There are no paid salaries. The Happy Factory is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All the materials they use are donated and all of the toys are made by volunteers. Every toy is donated to a child in need. The toys are made of scraps of hardwood donated by a local cabinet maker. Unfortunately, there are a few expenses for wheels and axles, saw blades, building maintenance costs and other miscellaneous items. The Happy Factory workers are toy makers, not fundraisers. It costs approximately fifty cents per toy for wheels and axles. They gratefully accept donations of materials, time, and money.
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